Society Without Borders is a pilot project of CIVIL – Center for Freedom for promoting and educating citizens about the “Citizens Charter”, social justice and environment. The project strives to connect these three extensive areas. At the same time, CIVIL is trying to investigate the possibilities for establishing communication and cooperation in the civil sector that deals with these issues.
The pilot project is implemented with the support of the German Heinrich Bὅll Foundation and is a complex undertaking that includes preparation of analyses, media production, networking, field activities, civic education and organization of a final conference where relevant decision-makers and representatives of stakeholders will be invited. Project activities are maximally transparent, and each one of them is presented through the extensive media platform of CIVIL and the social networks, through CIVIL’s main Facebook Page, as well as Social Justice Now! and Free Elections (for the Referendum in Gevgelia). Accordingly, the website Green CIVIL publishes media contents relevant to this project in Macedonian, Albanian and English. Furthermore, the websites of CIVIL Media, in Macedonian, Albanian and English, publish interviews, analyses and other media articles related to this project.
The Citizens Charter is a global document for promoting human rights and active participation of citizens in decision-making processes. The Charter emerges at a time when politics and business offensively violate human rights and freedoms and shrink the space for civil action. CIVIL is one of the first 50 organizations – signatories of the Charter worldwide, which was promoted last year at the World Conference on Global Perspectives that was held in Berlin, at the initiative of the International Civil Society Centre and several renown civil society organizations.
CIVIL, as carrier of promotional and educational activities in Macedonia, is organizing 12 outdoor events, with info stands where citizens can learn about the Citizens Charter, can sign a statement for support to the Charter or participate in a photo or video petition, as well as share proposals, recommendations, comments and testimonies with CIVIL’s team.
Multimedia events have been held in Gostivar, Veles, Bitola, Тetovo, Stip, Оhrid, Struga and in the center of Skopje. With little less activities, CIVIL’s team also visited the municipalities of Resen, Probistip, Gevgelia and other municipalities. More events are planned to be organized in Skopje and one in Каvadarci until the end of the month, as well as a conference in mid-June.
So far, over 250 citizens have supported the Citizens Charter with their signatures at the info stands. CIVIL Media’s news team carried out a survey on the topic social justice and environment in all the municipalities that CIVIL visited. Ten surveys have been conducted until now, as follows: “What social justice? The city is dead!” in Gostivar, Poor workers! in Bitola, People are afraid to fight for their rights! in Stip, Hate speech is created by politicians in Ohrid,, With the salaries in Macedonia you can only drink water and wait to die! in Skopje, Categorically “no” for construction of a mine in Gevgelia!, There is no social justice, and neither will there be any! in Struga, The government is violating workers’ rights! in Veles, People are afraid to fight for their rights! in Stip and You cannot live with 50 euros! Disgraceful! in Tetovo.
CIVIL’s monitoring team, as part of the activities, on a voluntary basis, monitored the implementation of the Referendum in Gevgelia on April 23 (Sunday). The Referendum question to which the citizens of Gevgelia voted on was: “Should mines be allowed to be opened in the Municipality of Gevgelia?”. The civil initiative “Save Gevgelia” previously carried out a campaign stressing the environmental damages that would result from the opening of mines.
CIVIL also had a series of meetings with prominent activists and organizations in the region that it visited fir developing mutual cooperation and providing support for civil activism in the spirit of the Charter.
A series of interviews with representatives of civil society organizations, experts on social and environmental issues and union leaders, were part of the activities related to the project Society Without Borders.
CIVIL also had the opportunity to speak with Dr.Branko Blazevski about the situation of the public health care, with Bekim Asani, Vojo Mancevski, Goran Trajkov, Ilco Zahariev, Zizo Ljamkovski, Danica Pavlovska , Ilija Baltovski, Mila Carovska, Branimir Jovanovik, Risto Ajtov, Nikola Slavevski, Nenad Kocik , Sonja Stojadinovik, Мuhamed Toci about social justice, workers’ rights and usurpation of public space and with Јакоv Poposki, Маrko Gucevski, Svetlana Stanojkovska, Dusko Gruevski, Аrianit Xhaferi, Igor Smilev about environmental issues.
Each event was announced with an announcement, and covered with a short report of the two-hour communications with the citizens and with photo albums on CIVIL’s Facebook Page.
The Citizen’s Charter has been translated in Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Roma, Serbian and Vlach language.
This post is also available in: Macedonian